Pridgeon requests plea change

May 20—A Muskogee man charged in the deaths of six people is seeking to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jarron Deajon Pridgeon, 28, is charged in the Feb. 2, 2021 deaths of five children ages 2-9 and his brother Javarion Lee, 24. Pridgeon pleaded not guilty in September 2021 to six counts of first-degree murder.

Pridgeon’s attorney Gretchen Mosley filed a motion April 27 requesting the plea change. Mosley said in the motion Pridgeon was evaluated by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Shawn Agharkar.

“Dr. Agharkar has indicated in a preliminary report that he believes that Mr. Pridgeon was psychotic at the time of the offense,” Mosley said in the motion. “Consequently, Mr. Pridgeon intends to defend the charges in this case on the grounds on insanity. A final report regarding insanity will be provided once the investigation and assessment are concluded.”

Mosley and Pridgeon appeared remotely before District Judge Timothy King on Friday for a status conference. When asked by King if anything else needed to be done to formalize the change, Mosley said she did not think so.

“I believe filing the notice is sufficient under the statute,” she said. “I don’t think that we need to have a formal arraignment. I know that Dr. Agharkar may want to see Jarron again, but those are his preliminary findings.”

King brought up the possibility of Pridgeon seeing another specialist for evaluation.

“In his letter (Dr. Agharkar) suggested a referral to another, I assume it’s a more specialized expert,” King said. “On your side then, do you anticipate using the other, or trying to locate another more specialized expert?” Mosley replied “Yes.”

King also addressed the issue of receiving records from out of state, including medical records from Arkansas.

“You honor, I just can’t recall if the issue is resolved,” Mosley said. “I can’t recall if they said they have records, but I don’t see that we’re having an issue.”

Pridgeon’s trail is set to begin next May. He is scheduled to appear in court for another status hearing Sept. 12.

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